former Mayor Rudy Giuliani and one-time Presidential candidate, announced today he won't run for Senate or Governor. But the man who ran New York City from 1994 to 2002 said he has "no idea" whether he'll run for anything in the future.
Giuliani made the announcement in a packed basement ballroom at the Sheraton Hotel in midtown.
The former Mayor, who seemed to relish the attention, praised former Congressman Rick Lazio has the right man to impose "fiscal discipline" during New York's economic crisis.
"Rick will make an excellent Governor," said Giuliani.
The former Mayor said he pondered running himself, but decided around Thanksgiving he'd be too occupied with lucrative international commitments in 2010 to take the plunge. "I'm too busy," said Giuliani.
Lazio, who was trounced by Hillary Rodham Clinton for Senate in 2000, announced his 2010 gubernatorial candidacy in September.
Giuliani withdrew from the 2000 Senate race against Clinton for health and personal reasons.
Gillibrand was appointed earlier this year by Gov. David Paterson to take over for Clinton after the former first lady became secretary of state. The 2010 election will decide who would serve out the balance of Clinton's term, through 2012.
Several Republicans who could pursue the Senate seat have been waiting for Giuliani's decision.
The off-year elections in November toppled many Democrats and polls show flagging support for President Barack Obama and many other Democrats. Paterson is seeking election and his polls are rising, but from low levels. Also, Democrats control state government, but hard fiscal times such as these often hurt incumbents.
Erie County Executive Chris Collins, a Republican former businessman and proven fundraiser, also is exploring a bid for governor. He had said he was awaiting a decision by Giuliani on whether the former mayor would run for governor.
Guy Molinari, former Staten Island borough president, former congressman and a leader in GOP politics statewide, said it will be disappointing if Giuliani decides against running for office in 2010.
"We are in critical times right now and we need him badly, but he has to make a personal decision," Molinari said.
Molinari said he was also disappointed by Giuliani's decision to endorse Lazio now, when other candidates, including Collins, would be stronger.
U.S. Rep. Peter King, a Long Island Republican, said he thought Giuliani was the GOP's strongest candidate against Paterson.
"He had 100 percent name recognition and he's a leader at a time when people are really questioning Democrats," King said. "Rudy would be best ... (but) I think Rudy is doing the right thing by announcing now."
King, however, also praised Lazio, calling him thoughtful and hardworking.
"He's a family guy, and that means something," King said. "He knows what working families are going through in the state, whether it's paying for education or paying the bills."
Giuliani's consulting business, Giuliani Partners, is also flourishing. This month it landed a contract with Rio de Janeiro to help make the city safer before it is the site of the 2016 Olympics. The mayor credited by many for turning around New York City toured a violence-plagued slum in Rio.